As calls for a UN-imposed no-fly zone over Libya gather support, Australian former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans – who has championed the doctrine that the international community has a responsibility to protect civilians – explains the moral case for such a move, in a BBC interview.
Is there a clear-cut case for a “responsibility to protect“ justification for intervention in Libya?
Gareth Evans: Absolutely, and that’s been endorsed by the Security Council, which used that language and applied some quite serious coercive measures in terms of targeted sanctions, embargoes and references to the ICC – the International Criminal Court. The question now, of course, is whether a step further should be taken to go down the military path and I think, morally, the case is overwhelming. You just have to worry about military arguments, political arguments and legal arguments, that is three hurdles to cross before we can actually get there, which I think we need to do.